I’m at a milestone – 30 days since Herschel’s passing. We marked the date with a small gathering in my home (our home? seems odd to write “my home”). One of the attendees completed a tractate of Talmud at this gathering. That tractate was the one he and Herschel had studied. A couple of people shared their memories of Herschel’s commitment to studying, his landscape abilities, and his willingness to help others.

This got me thinking. What’s a “milestone?” What’s the etymology of the term? From a quick read on the Web, I discovered that a milestone was literally a stone on the road that marked the distance from any given point. Apparently, that literal meaning has evolved into a figurative definition – an important event or a turning point.

This 30-day marker is definitely a turning point. During these first 30 days, I observed certain restrictions in activities and even in dress. For me, those restrictions are now lifted. I can now return to the hobbies, pastimes, and pursuits I had participated in before Herschel passed away.

Knowing that I can return to certain activities and actually returning to them are two different situations. How can I return to a hobby just because the calendar says 30 days are complete? Feels like I’m being asked to jump into the cold lake early on a camp morning! Burrrr – I didn’t really enjoy the polar bear routine.

So how do I approach this milestone? Carefully, cautiously, quietly, gently – one step at a time. It is a transition and a challenge…and it’s all good!

* * *

From sunset of December 21 through sunset of December 22, 2009: May our words and actions that we take to help others be a merit for Herschel Avraham ben Simcha Yosef.